The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU staff ‘family’ struts its stuff on stage

Third annual variety show exhibits staff members’ talent

How often does one get to see Provost Ross Murfin in aviator glasses, moccasins, a hip shirt, and a bandana around his head rocking out on the piano as the rest of the Provost Players sing Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family”? Wednesday, audience members in a packed Umphrey Lee Ballroom sang along, clapped their hands and even started a congo line during the Third Annual Staff Association Talent Show.

From the Women’s Center to the library to Campus Planning and Plant Operations, 35 staff members proved their talents were as varied as their job description. Live performances ranged from singing and playing the guitar or piano to group karaoke.

Other staff members displayed their artistic talents for people to enjoy before the show. Exhibits featured paintings, photography, original jewelry designs and quilts showing “not only their hobbies, but their passions,” said Julie Wiksten, coordinator of the Staff Association Talent Show.

“It’s an opportunity to showcase the talent of people you work with on a daily basis, who you may have no idea even have a talent,” said Wiksten, who performed “Maybe This Time” from the musical “Cabaret.” Performing is nothing new for Wiksten, who participated in the 1977-78 SMU Homecoming and Family Weekend Talent Shows in the same ballroom she performed in Wednesday.

The idea for a staff talent show came about three years ago, and every year the level of participation has grown, Wiksten said. In its first year, only performing talent was featured with the displays added last year. This year’s show has seen the highest participation and attendance yet, she said.

Willie Lowery, who performed “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” from “Porgy and Bess” with Brenda Sharpless, says he has been working on his number for three months. The show was their first time to ever perform their musical scene, which displayed not only their singing talent but their dramatic talent as well.

“I had so much fun last year,” he said. “I figured why not do it again.”

In February Lowery will celebrate his 25th year at SMU as a member of Procurement Services. He enjoys working at SMU because of things like the talent show and all of the privileges that come along with the job.

“When you enter Dawson Service Center, don’t be surprised to hear Willie’s deep bass voice ringing through the halls!” his caption in the program read.

Performers received support from fellow staffers as well as family and friends. Whether humorous or serious, every act received loud applause from the audience.

But when the staffers had used up all the talent they had to give the audience, they ended the show belting, “We are family. I’ve got all my colleagues with me!”

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